April was a pretty good month, with a job change for my husband, our first visit from family in over a year, and my first vaccination. A friend invited me to join a group of women who are walking/running an informal half-marathon in mid-May. I’ve “stepped” up my daily walks to 3-4 miles and treated myself to new walking shoes. The walk is in two weeks though, and I don’t have a lot of time to prepare.
April had some dark patches too. I’m struggling with some issues at work and I worry about letting work-stress bleed into my life at home – which in turn creates more anxiety. I’m working on coming up with some positive ways to handle that.
I found it harder to concentrate on print books this month, but since I did a lot of walking, I sped through audiobooks. Here’s what I read in April:
- Real Life by Brandon Taylor (audio)
- Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
- The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
- The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey (audio)
- The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
- The New Wilderness by Diane Cook (audio)
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (audio)
- The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (audio)
- Eat a Peach by David Chang (audio)
My favorite reads: I loved Real Life and Piranesi. Black Sun was an engrossing and entertaining read; I liked the characters and want to see what happens next. The Satapur Moonstone, book 2 in the Perveen Mistry series, was a really interesting look at a remote region of India in 1922. I love Massey’s attention to detail and focus on the political issues of the day. If you’re looking for historical mysteries about other countries, these are a great pick. And my comfort read of the month was Jasmine Guillory’s The Proposal. I love her writing style and the real-life situations of her characters. Her books are like curling up with a warm blanket in front of a fire.
Most disappointing reads: I didn’t care for The Boyfriend Project. I never felt for the characters or believed in their relationship, and I hate the trope where one character has a REALLY BIG SECRET because you spend the whole book waiting for the big reveal at the expense of everything else (really, just don’t get into a relationship if you have to lie about who you are). I also read about half of The Year of the Witching and didn’t get through it before it had to go back to the library. I’m wondering if I should pick it back up.
Books for challenges:
- Beat the Backlist: The Satapur Moonstone, The Proposal
- Nonfiction: Eat a Peach (a book about food)
- Modern Mrs. Darcy: The Mountains Sing (a place I’ve never been)
What I’m reading now: I’m excited to start listening to Broken by Jenny Lawson. I’ve also got Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden and I’m continuing to read The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk (see this article for a fascinating discussion of that book and how it relates to the movie Promising Young Woman).
What’s coming up: I’m not sure. I’m feeling a little directionless right now.
I watched two documentaries about singers this month, Tina (about Tina Turner) and Framing Britney Spears. Tina Turner is one of my heroes and this movie didn’t disappoint. Even better than the movie starring Angela Bassett, this movie takes you through to Tina’s life today. I highly recommend it.
I found the Britney Spears movie disturbing – I’ve never been a fan, but this isn’t about her career but the fact that she’s basically being held captive legally. For 13 years, her father has full legal control not only over her finances but her physical body – and it’s not at all clear why, or whether she can do anything about it. It’s a serious indictment of how the legal system can be misused, and the movie’s representation of how we as a society treated a young woman with possible mental health issues was devastating.
That was my April, how was yours? I’m looking forward to May – planting my summer garden, grilling outside, my second vaccination and thinking about travel plans. I hope it’s a good month for you.